Obrazy na stronie

for the Lay-people to receive the Cup or Wine, and Blood of Christ apart, as he instituted, and the Church of old, even the Roman, constantly practised, as do the Greeks at this day, according to what Christ commanded, and in what sense he gave it, and called it reall Bread and Wine: for such he took, such he brake, such he blessed, such he gave to the Disciples, when he said, that is, this Bread, is my Body, this cup is my Blood; such S. Paul understood them to be, and so declares this the mind of Christ, as he had received it immediately from Christ, The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? For we are all partakers of that one Bread. So, whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily. Let a man examine himself before he eat of that bread.


Certainly either the Apostle's expressions must be affectedly very dark, and his meaning different from his words, or he was quite of another mind than the Papists are at this day, who durst, in the all-daring Council of Trent, damn all those who follow Christs example, use his words, and are of the Apostle's judgment, expressing their sense of the blessed Sacrament in his words; which we think much safer to follow, both in the use of Sacramentall Bread and Wine, communicated to all Receivers, and in the persuasion we have of our receiving true Bread and Wine, yet duly consecrated, and so sacramentally united to the Reall Body and Blood of Christ, which we faithfully behold, thankfully receive, and reverently adore in that blessed Mysterie, according to the ancient Faith, Judgment, Reverence and Devotion of the Church of Christ, void of sacrilegious novelties, and incredible superstitious vanities."-pp. 309-11.

Nothing can be clearer than that he distinctly repudiated Transubstantiation: at the same time the language of the last paragraph seems very plainly to enunciate his belief in the Real Objective Presence.

We next meet with him as Bishop of Exeter and learn his opinion, about Kneeling at the Sacrament, as set forth in a Folio Tract, called

"The COUNSELL which the Bishop of EXCESTER delivered to XLIV. PRESBYTERS and DEACONS, after they had been ORDAINED by him (with the assistance of other grave Ministers) in the Cathedral Church of Excester, after the Primitive, Catholic, and lawful way of the Church of England. January 13, 1660 [1].

"Printed by J. Flesher, and are to be sold by R. Royston, Bookseller to his Sacred Majesty, MDCLXI."

The following passages, like those just cited, are printed to correspond with the original :—

"In like sort as if we had contended for our Religion and Pos


terity, or for the main points of State and hinges of Empire, we have canvassed those questions very sadly and superciliously, Whether God looks with more kindness and welcome on those that receive the Lord's Supper sitting, or standing, or kneeling. In which I conceive the Christians of the first Ages (for the most part) used standing, in the presence and service of God; and possibly in the holy Eucharist too; expressing by the uprightness and readiness of that posture the Faith they had as to Christ's Resurrection, that great Article in which, as in one center, the whole orb of Christian Faith doth move. Sitting at Church Tertullian counts rude and reproachful to the Divine Majesty ; not only as too familiar, but as impudently testifying a weariness in His Service.

"In after-ages of the Church, when the Arrian Pest had infected farre and neare, the Orthodox Christians enclined more to kneeling at the Sacrament, as thereby owning and vindicating the adorable Majesty and Divinity of Christ, one and equal, as God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. A gesture no doubt variable, because not necessary, having not the mark of precept and institution upon it, so much as of occasion and custome: yet it is lawful and commendable, because according to the general tenour and analogy of Divine worship; at least it is free, and not to be rigidly exacted, according to the first gesture of Christ, who followed the civil fashion of the Jewish nation in their discumbency or lying down at their meales, in a leaning posture: which few, if any, of the great sticklers against kneeling do observe.

"Besides this, there is without doubt a vast difference between the Divine Majesty of Christ, at first instituting these Sacred Mysteries of the Lord's Supper by his soveraign autority; and us, poor worthless wretches, celebrating them with that reverence and humility which becomes our vileness and distance, when we are to receive those heavenly dainties from the table and hands of Christ with that duty and obedience, adoration and gratitude which is meet. Not that the efficacy, grace and comfort of the Holy Sacrament depends upon the gesture of the Body; but upon the faithful, penitent and devout temper of the gratious heart.


Only it is for certain no sin in a Christian, both to express and excite the inward motives of an humble and devout soul, by the outward gestures and sutable motions of the body; as in lifting up the hands and eyes to heaven, so in the bowing of the head and knees and whole body toward the earth: By the one we shew the sense of our own vileness and misery; by the other our hopes in God's mercy and benignity."-pp. 19 and 20.

It was only four months after giving this "counsell" that the Savoy Conference was held, Gauden being one of the Episcopal Commissioners: the Answers of the Bishops to

the Puritan demand, that Kneeling at the Sacrament "may be left free," distinctly embody the opinions put forth by Bishop Gauden in both these extracts; thus they say :—

"§ 15. The position of kneeling best suits at the Communion as the most convenient, and so most decent for us, when we are to receive as it were from God's hand the greatest of seals of the kingdom of heaven. He that thinks he may do this sitting, let him remember the prophet Mal. Offer this to the prince, to receive his seal from his own hand sitting, see if he will accept it. When the

Chuch did stand at her prayers, the manner of receiving was 'more adorantium,' (S. Aug. Psalm xcviii. Cyril. Catch. Mystag. 5,) rather more than at prayers, since standing at prayer hath been generally left, and kneeling used instead of that (as the Church may vary in such indifferent things). Now to stand at Communion, when we kneel at prayers, were not decent, much less to sit, which was never the use of the best times."-Card. Hist. Conf., p. 350.

The Bishops say that the ancient custom of receiving the Communion was "more adorantium," even "when the Church did stand at her prayers:" Bishop Gauden, one of them, had published two years before that "we faithfully behold, thankfully receive, and reverently adore in that blessed Mysterie," the "Reall Body and Blood of Christ," and, too," according to the ancient Faith, Judgment, Reverence and Devotion of the Church of Christ, void of sacrilegious novelties, and incredible superstitious vanities." Also in his, "counsell" just noticed, he advocates Kneeling at the Sacrament on this very ground that it is most "suitable" at that time" when we are to receive those heavenly dainties from the table and hands of Christ with that . . . adoration and gratitude which is meet." Moreover, his argument throughout this latter Document is quite in accordance with the second Answer of the Bishops upon "The Communion Service," touching Kneeling, in which they say :


"§ 10. Kneel at Sacr. Concerning kneeling at the Sacrament we have given account already; only thus much we add, that we conceive it an error to say that the Scripture affirms the Apostles to have received not kneeling. The posture of the paschal supper we know; but the institution of the holy Sacrament was after supper : and what posture was then used the Scripture is silent. The Rub.

at the end of the 1. Ed. C. that leaves kneeling, crossing, &c., indifferent, is meant only at such times as they are not prescribed and required. But at the Eucharist kneeling is expressly required in the Rub. following."-Card. p. 354.

But it was at the very same time when these Answers were given that the same Bishops (for there is nothing to shew that Gauden did not concur) as distinctly refused to restore the Declaration on Kneeling, though pressed to do so by the Puritans, "for the vindicating of our Church in the matter of kneeling at the Sacrament (although the gesture be left indifferent):" the Bishops' answer, which it may be as well to repeat here, though given at p. 70, is :

[ocr errors]

"S 12. This Rub. is not in the Liturgy of Queen Elizabeth, nor confirmed by law; nor is there any great need of restoring it, the world being now in more danger of profanation than of idolatry. Besides the sense of it is declared sufficiently in the 28th Article of the Church of England."-Card. p. 354.

How came it to pass, then, that (as Burnet tells us) Gauden "pressed" (p. 71) the Declaration, and that by his "the "means" it was "put in" (p. 302)? It may be, as Duke" said "severely," that Gauden did it as "a popular" measure, though it had been "resolved to gratify [the Puritans] in nothing" (p. 71): but then it in no way follows that he regarded it as anything more than a Protest against Transubstantiation: nor is there anything to indicate that the other Bishops viewed it differently; on the contrary their statement that "the sense of it is declared sufficiently in the 28th Article," plainly implies a like belief. It is, indeed, very likely that Gauden thought it would help to neutralize the effect of Puritan opposition if this Declaration against Roman doctrine were again adopted; and it was only what "that the anhe had himself stated when he wrote (p. 303) cient churches received those holy mysteries with an high veneration indeed of that Body and Blood of Christ, which was thereby signified, conveyed and sealed to them in the truth and merits of the Passion; but yet without any Divine Adoration of the Bread and Wine, or any imagination that they were

transubstantiated from their own seeming essence and nature to the very Body and Blood of Christ:" but it is beyond belief, as it seems to me, that he (or indeed his colleagues) could have designed thereby to express any concurrence in the Puritans' denial of the Real Presence, or in their objection to Adoration, unless we entirely ignore his other statements already quoted, or persuaded ourselves that he had abandoned them.

Yet if this was Gauden's wish and design, Sheldon's opposition may naturally enough have arisen either from the fear that it would be accounted a concession to the Puritans which might prove inconvenient after the refusal which had been given in the Conference, or from a disinclination to provoke the Roman party by putting forth a Declaration which the Conference had said there was no 66 great need" of on the score of "danger" from "idolatry." Gunning's proposal to change the words "reall and essentiall" may, most likely, have met the difficulty and may have led to that agreement between Gauden, Gunning, and the Bishops which I ventured to assume (p. 73) took place-an opinion which is certainly confirmed by this additional information which has been considered.

That Gauden's Eucharistic belief, though most clearly opposed to Transubstantiation, not only presented no obstacle to Gunning's proposed change but readily fell in with it, may be further concluded from another work of Gauden's which, after many searches and inquiries in all likely quarters during some eighteen months, I have fortunately met with in the possession of a private individual. When the Book was written I have been unable to ascertain: the Biographia

It is with this qualification that we must read the following passage in Kennett's Register and Chronicle, p. 585 : –

"The Concessions and Alterations that were now made for reforming the Book of Common Prayer.

"ix. They desired that a Rubrick in the Common Prayer Book in 5 & 6 Edw. vi. for the vindicating of our Church in the matter of kneeling at the Sacrament. without the Declaration, &c., might be restored, and it was so."

Kennett's language reads as if he saw no distinction between the old and new form of the Declaration, whatever he may have thought both to mean.

John Nealds, Esq., of Guildford, who, in answer to my enquiry in that most useful publication Notes and Queries, obligingly allowed me the loan of it.

« PoprzedniaDalej »